Global Citizens’ Inquiry into the Fourth Industrial Revolution

In 2018, The Fourth Group will launch a Global Citizens’ Inquiry into the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

What is the fourth industrial revolution? It is a term used to describe the new technological changes that the world is experiencing right now. These technologies include the internet of things, biotechnologies, and exponential developments in artificial intelligence. During the first three industrial revolutions we saw the impact of mechanisation, then mass production, then the impact of computers on humanity. Each of these changed the way we lived, worked, and played, and brought huge disruptions to our economies and societies. We are only at the cusp of the fourth.

What is a citizens’ inquiry? This refers to the process of having action-oriented conversations with citizens on issues, with the view to understanding problems from real and diverse experiences, and to develop practical responses to those problems.


This inquiry aims to do the following:

  • Understand what citizens believe is the impact of technology on their lives;
  • Understand what citizens believe are the forthcoming issues global society will face;
  • Develop a global agenda for citizens to rally around;
  • Develop solutions in the form of policy, technology, and civic action, and;
  • Build an organised group of citizens worldwide who will take forward this agenda.

Throughout the inquiry, our mission is to renew and strengthen global citizenship worldwide, and respond to the major challenges posed by the fourth industrial revolution.


The Inquiry has three phases:

  1. Listen and learn (March to June 2018)
    • We will have conversations with citizens in every region of the world online and in focus groups
    • We will outline the major problems as proposed by citizens worldwide
  2. Develop responses (July to November 2018)
    • We will run a hackathon in London to develop technology solutions
    • We will run policy commissions to develop policy solutions
  3. Action (January 2019 and beyond)
    • We will develop a global agenda which outlines the major problems and our proposed solutions
    • Citizens worldwide will work with business and government to implement change and impact

Before phases 1-3, we are reaching out to potential advisors, partners, and community organisers worldwide who want to be a part of this Global Citizens’ Inquiry. If you want to get involved, email us at outlining how you’d like to help and why. Thanks.


We will conduct an online Inquiry and organise deliberative conversations in the following cities. (Note that these locations are provisional, and this list may be subject to change.)


  • London
  • Paris
  • Berlin
  • Tallinn

North America

  • New York
  • Boston
  • Toronto
  • San Francisco
  • Detroit

South America

  • Bogota
  • Rio De Janeiro
  • Buenos Aires
  • Mexico City


  • Manila
  • Hong Kong
  • Bangkok
  • Mumbai


  • Brisbane
  • Melbourne

Middle East

  • Dubai
  • Tel Aviv
  • Jerusalem


  • Cape Town
  • Nairoibi
  • Lagos

Get involved

As a global citizen, you can participate in the following ways:

  • Submit your views on what the major problems are online or at one of our focus groups
  • Submit your views on the solutions to these problems online or at one of our focus groups
  • Share our survey with friends, family, and colleagues through email, social media, and word-of-mouth
  • Organise a listening session in your community by applying to become a Volunteer Community Organiser for the Inquiry (see below for more information)
  • Support us financially by contributing through our website or becoming a patron
  • Propose partnerships through your professional work and network

Who’s behind this?

The Fourth Group is a global community of people in politics and technology, established to respond to the major problems caused by the fourth industrial revolution. The Fourth Group is organising the Global Citizens’ Inquiry.


The Fourth Group team are organising the Inquiry.

Advisory Steering Group

The Inquiry is supported by an advisory steering group, including:

  • Malini Mehra (CEO, GLOBE Legislators)
  • Dr Jason Blackstock (Head, STEaPP Department, UCL)
  • Jon Barnes (Author, Democracy Squared)
  • Toni Cowan-Brown (Vice President, NationBuilder)
  • John Lazar CBE (Former CEO, MetaSwitch Ltd)
  • Tanya Filer (Cambridge Institute for Public Policy, University of Cambridge)
  • Andrianos Giannou (President, YEPP)

Volunteer Community Organisers

The conversations are led by Volunteer Community Organisers worldwide, including members of The Fourth Group.

If you would like to lead a conversation in your community, email your CV and a cover letter outlining why you want to be a Volunteer Community Organiser, where you would run a conversation, and how you would run it. Thanks.


We have partnered with UCL STEaPP who are providing research and strategic support for the Inquiry, and the Global Social Entrepreneurship Network who are working with us to identify solutions provided by social entrepreneurs worldwide. More partners are to be confirmed. If you would like to partner with us, email


For more information, email